Gavan Knox, award-winning Irish baker (now residing in Canada), is an LGBTQ+ father of two with an enthusiasm for baking that began in his childhood. To him, the kitchen is the hub of family life – he loved spending much of his childhood at his mother’s hip in the kitchen watching her and helping her bake, cook and create. His mother, Anne O’Sullivan, ignited his passion for baking – she instinctively knew when cream was on the cusp of curdling and had an effortless knack for adding that “bit for the chef,” subtleties that are felt more than learned. She taught Gavan the fundamentals of baking like traditional recipes, measurements and the need to be exacting – but also that, at the centre of it all, there’s passion. Every time Gavan bakes, there’s a little echo of her and those sentiments in his creations.
Gavan went on to pursue a career as an architecture technician spanning 15 years both in Ireland and the UK. His role was centred around creating workable, buildable drawings from lead architect’s drawing and concepts, making sure they could actually be built on-site while complying to laws and regulations. In the later portion of his career, he refined his specialty to Building Specification Writing, detailing with words how construction is carried out and the laws to apply to, basically “writing a recipe for the building.”
Although he enjoyed his work, it became clear to Gavan that it wasn’t his passion so he decided to step away when he and his partner started a family to concentrate on his role as a new parent. It was through Gavan’s children, and bake sales at their schools, that he rekindled the fires of his love for food and baking. His role as a new parent began to mirror what he used to see in his mom, creating and baking in the kitchen. For some people, poetry or gifts is their expression of love, for Gavan, it’s baking. Gavan’s philosophy with baking is that no ingredient is off-limits. His technical background in writing architectural specifications combined with the baking wisdom and passion imparted from his mother, provides him with the expertise to deconstruct classic recipes and explore what unexpected, off-limits ingredients can be added to elevate it. As a result, he’s conceived creative and delicious combinations like Black Garlic Ice Cream Sandwiches, Badami Curry Macarons and more. He also has a love for spotlighting unusual vintage classics like Chocolate Vinegar Cake. He always endeavors to think outside the box – both in terms of flavours and ingredients – and bring in the unexpected. Quirky, interesting flavours and ingredients are his signature, aiming to bring to life recipes which are more than just a sweet treat but also an exciting talking point. Today, Gavan resides in Toronto, Canada with his husband, Scott, and two children. Gavan loves the Toronto food scene as well as the diversity.